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Just a taste…

11:28 P.M. You awake? A text from my sister.

9:28 A.M.  My response.  I am now!

10:00 A.M.  No answer, and it’s no wonder.

I smile to myself and wait for Regina to wake up from the crash that was sure to follow the week she just had.

Scrolling through social media, I see that she was up late last night posting videos and pictures from her week at camp.  Group shots, goofy pics, baptisms, and testimonies, they fill my feed like wildflower bouquets, bunched together into random collages and ribbon-tied with heartfelt captions and hashtags.

God is soooo good! #bornagain

Falls Creek 2015 with these kids!!! It doesn’t get any better!!

One kid responds to her posts.  It late.  Go to sleep.  (laughing emoji)

She answers.  Can’t sleep.  Still thinking about my [name of school] kids!!!  (smiley face emojis)

Okay.  So, they aren’t really her kids, but she thinks of them that way.  They don’t look like her or act like her.  They don’t think like her, but they try, curious to discover where the love she has for them comes from, that stubborn love that will not die no matter how hard they push or how much junk she has to deal with on their behalf.

She loves them, so she invites them to camp.  They love her back, so they accept.  Last year, she took thirteen.  This year?  Forty-two!

The week wasn’t easy, of course.  Hers aren’t exactly your typical church kids, and they spent all their time with a hundred or so who are.  Concerned for their welfare and burdened for their souls, my sister made it work.  For six days, she never stopped moving and hardly slept, praying constantly, anticipating needs, mothering, doctoring, stamping out conflict, and heading off the Enemy’s attacks at every turn so her kids could concentrate on the Gospel message they heard.

Always faithful, God brought the harvest. Many of Regina’s students made life-changing decisions for Christ, and all were touched by the acceptance and love they were shown by a youth group that didn’t know them and had nothing to gain by taking them in as they did.

I know the high my sister is feeling, the euphoria that follows a hard-won spiritual victory, but it’s been a while.  That kind of satisfaction, that kind of thrill, is reserved for those like my sister and like Jonathan of the Old Testament (1 Samuel 14) who throw themselves heart and soul into battle on God’s say-so alone.  God rewards obedience like that, you know.

Call what she is experiencing a camp high if you want; I call it a taste of “well done.”

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